Autism Behavioral Studies Major

The autism behavioral studies program at Saint Joseph's University has a strong focus in behavioral analysis, health policy and more. Many students choose to learn from experts at the University's Kinney Center of Autism Education.

Goal 1: Graduates of the Autism Behavioral Studies Program will know and understand the potential causes, symptoms and diagnostic criteria of autism spectrum disorders as well as the specific needs of individuals with autism across the lifespan and how they are treated.

Outcome 1.1: Demonstrate knowledge of the current theories on the causes of autism spectrum disorders.

Outcome 1.2: Demonstrate knowledge of the frequency, characteristics, symptoms, and diagnostic criteria of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Outcome 1.3: Demonstrate knowledge of the nature of stereotypes, stigma, and discrimination of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Goal 2: Graduates of the Autism Behavioral Studies Program will know and understand the unique and specific behavioral needs of individuals with autism as well as both medical and behavioral approaches to autism treatment and related issues.

Outcome 2.1: Identify the behavioral needs of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders and demonstrate the current behavioral approaches to treating behavioral issues of individuals with autism using Applied Behavior Analysis and medically related therapeutic services.

Outcome 2.2: Demonstrate the ability to communicate orally and in writing in the language of the discipline and particularly on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. 

Goal 3: Graduates of the Autism Behavioral Studies Program will understand, follow and demonstrate the ethics guidelines and professional codes of conduct for working with individuals with autism.

Outcome 3.1: Demonstrate the roles and responsibilities of behavior analysts, therapists, allied health professionals and related staff, and demonstrate understanding of ethics guidelines in working with individuals with autism.

Outcome 3.2: Graduates will act as responsible citizens, embracing personal and career objectives that honor and serve individuals with autism and their families. 

Goal 4: Graduates of the Autism Behavioral Studies Program will identify and understand the difficulties that families face in coping with autism and the impact of paying for autism-related services, as well as the social and economic impact on families and on society.

Outcome 4.1: Identify the impact on parents, siblings, families, and friends of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and demonstrate how to best help these individuals cope with associated stress.

Outcome 4.2: Identify the impact of political issues, including funding and approval of services, around autism spectrum disorders.

Goal 5: Graduates of the Autism Behavioral Studies Program will demonstrate how to collect behavioral data using Applied Behavior Analysis; to measure the progress of individuals with autism; to develop behavioral plans for individuals with autism; and/or to conduct research on individuals with autism or on related treatment plans.

Outcome 5.1: Collect data on the progress of individuals with autism and develop behavioral plans; or collect data for the purpose of conducting research on a particular topic in the field of autism.

Outcome 5.2: Identify and demonstrate methods to empirically assess and evaluate the progress of individuals with autism spectrum disorders for the purpose of developing intervention plans.

The traditional undergraduate programs includes a minimum of 120 credits distributed across three components: A General Education component divided into Signature Courses, Variable Courses, and an Integrative Learning requirement; a Major and Divisional component; and Free Electives. In addition to course requirements as specified in each area, students must complete one certified course in each of the following overlay areas1:

  1. Diversity, Globalization or Non-western Area Studies,
  2. Ethics Intensive
  3. Writing Intensive, and
  4. Diversity

Overlay requirements are part of the 120 credit requirements

General Education Signature Courses

See this page about Signature courses

General Education Variable Courses

See this page about Variable courses. Six to Nine courses

Required Natural Science GEP course for the ABS major:4
One Biology or Chemistry Course with Lab

General Education Overlays

See this page about Overlays.

General Education Integrative Learning Component

See this page about Integrative Learning Component. Three courses:

PSY 101Intro Psychology Seminar3
MAT 118Introduction to Statistics3
Psychology Course3
Total Hours9

Major Requirements 

ABA 100Intro Autism Spectrum Disorder3
ABA 200Applied Behav Anlysis & Autism3
ABA 201Skill Assess & Instr ABA&ASD3
HSC 331Health Sciences Research3
ABA 468Resources& Advocacy for Autism3
ABA 469Adult/Transition Autism3
ABA 470Senior Sem ABS Research3
Area Studies
9 credits (at least two courses must be from the Special Education or Education Courses)9
Intro Health Prof Practice
Health of School Aged Children
Language and Communication
First Year Seminar
Philosophy of Mental Illness
Lifespan Development
Psychological Disorders
Biological Bases of Behavior
Psychology of Emotion
Child Psychological Disorders
Soc/Emo Dev/Lrn: Erly Chld
Intro to Special Edu w/Field
Inclusive Classrooms w/ Field
Emot-Beh'l Disabil w/Field
Fam School & Comm:Diverse Soc
Total Hours30